ST. CHARLES PARISH MAN, CHAD MICHAEL HOTARD, CHARGED WITH PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
CHAD MICHAEL HOTARD, age 28, a resident of Luling, Louisiana, was charged today in a Bill of Information with 2 counts of production and 1 count of distribution of child pornography, announced U. S. Attorney Dana J. Boente.
According to the Bill of Information, HOTARD knowingly employed, used, persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct in order to produce child pornography on two separate occasions, December 13, 2012 and March 12, 2013. In addition, HOTARD was charged with distributing digital images and computer images of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct on March 13, 2013.
If convicted of production of child pornography the mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years as to each count. Distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years. All three charges also carry a fine of $250,000, a term of supervised release for life, and sex offender registration.
U. S. Attorney Boente reiterated that the Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and prosecution of this case is being handled by Strike Force Chief and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.
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